Covid-19 Taskforce: Electric Shared Mobility with James Carter, Dermot Hikisch and Venkatesh Gopal

This week’s Covid-19 Taskforce micro webinar is hosted by Venkatesh Gopal, Head of Business Development and Partnerships at movmi. He is joined by James Carter, Principal Consultant at Vision Mobility and Dermot Hikisch, Launch Architect at Ridecell. In this webinar they discuss electric shared mobility during Covid-19; how it has been affected by the pandemic, the advancements in EV charging technology, the benefits of electric vehicle travel and what we should expect to see from the EV industry throughout the rest of 2020 and beyond.

You can directly ask the taskforce anything related to Covid-19 and seek advice on managing your own operation by sending an email to

Covid-19 Taskforce: Electric Shared Mobility with James Carter, Dermot Hikisch and Venkatesh Gopal


  • Throughout the pandemic so far, the automotive industry has seen many big dips in sales from 50%-70% in some areas. EVs weren’t as affected by the Covid-19. EV market shares have started to climb. 
  • With many of us working from home, traffic was vastly reduced, and air quality drastically improved. There has been a growing consciousness and an awareness of the public as to the importance of EVs.
  • We have started seeing more electrification in heavy duty vehicles like trucks and buses as well as the micromobility level. During the pandemic we saw a surge in eBikes and eScooter sales pick up and that’s encouraging for urban transportation in general.
  • With people working from home, it has allowed more time and greater ease for the deployment of new charging stations around North America. Whether it’s in a city or the side of a motorway or highway, it involves planning and those projects are still on track.
  • Shared mobility, car share and car rental operators are deploying more electric vehicles and in many cases usage and ridership is up.
  • Different car share companies are handling the pandemic in different ways. In Madrid and Paris, Zity is charging their EV fleet using company personnel, whereas GIG in Sacramento, for example,  is informing their users on how to safely charge their vehicles and where the nearest public charging infrastructure is.
  • The rate of use of a person touching a public electric vehicle charger is much smaller compared to rate of use of a gas pump, which on average is used every ten minutes. This means that the rate of transmission is much higher for ICE vehicles. However, in North America there haven’t been any confirmed cases of hand to hand transmission through the use of EV chargers. Typically we see airborne cases stemming from public places like indoor restaurants where there are A/C systems present. So Uber’s policy of leaving windows open at least three inches while you’re driving and the mandatory wearing of face masks will make a difference. One of the biggest advantages for EVs (and shared EVs) is that users may choose to charge these vehicles at their home too.
  • Some cities, like Sacramento have provided 50% discounts on permitting/annual fees for electric vehicles versus gas vehicles and we are seeing these incentives popping up in cities across the globe. Milan allocates a monthly transportation allowance to its residents which may be used only towards transit, shared and active transportation modes which encourages more people to access these services.
  • Due to the pandemic, cities are having financial issues like every other industry and institution which is why when it comes to the implementation of curbside charging stations, cities will consider it more carefully at the minute. The loss of revenue from parking might be prioritized, but considering EV chargers would definitely enhance that and allow shared mobility operations to benefit going forward.
  • Although placing a charger at every corner will help, with advancements in battery technology and range anxiety taking a backseat DC fast chargers in clusters (public lots) across the city could be the future. This not only allows for better planning but also gives an operational efficiency edge to shared mobility.
  • One big improvement in micro mobility that we’ve seen is the use of swappable batteries, particularly in scooters and e-bikes which has, in some cases, reduced operational costs up to 50%.
  • People now want to rent car/bikes/mopeds (shared services) for longer. There have been a number of operators that have increased their rental periods at a discount. In some instances, car share operators/renters have removed their maximum rental cap from 30 days and increased it to 60 days, for those people who only need the use of a car throughout the Summer months.

If you have a direct question for the taskforce related to Covid-19 or wish to seek advice on managing your own operation, send an email with your question to For more Covid-19 information and resources click here.

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